By Wesley Kaminsky
Week three of the NFL season has come and gone, and football fans were in for a treat. It was a week in which streaks were broken, and games went down to the wire.
Both the Bills and Lions, two of the seasons biggest surprises, have not made the playoffs since 1999. Sunday was another step in that direction as they both improved to 3-0. The Lions won in Minnesota, 26-23, a place where they hadn’t won in 13 years, while the Bills snapped a 15 game losing streak against the Patriots. What makes both of these teams so fun to watch is the fact they play with no fear and think they can beat anybody in the league. Both of them overcame 20 point deficits on Sunday to remain undefeated, and the bandwagon for both of these teams is growing.
Jump on now while you have the chance.
1. Green Bay Packers (1, won 27-17): 3-0. No team in the league is playing better than the Packers right now, and Sunday in Chicago was their most impressive game yet. Aaron Rodgers wants a repeat. (Next week: vs Denver)
2. New Orleans Saints (4, won 40-33): 2-1. Remember that Reggie Bush guy who used to be on the Saints? Things are working out just fine for ’09 Super Bowl Champs with Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram aboard. (Next week: at Jacksonville)
3. New England Patriots (2, lost 34-31): 2-1. Nobody expected Tom Brady to throw four interceptions on Sunday, and I mean nobody. The NE secondary needs to get fixed. They can’t stop anybody. (Next week: at Oakland)
4. Baltimore Ravens (7, won 37-7): 2-1. The Ravens team from week one returned in St. Louis in a 37-7 thumping of the Rams. Next up is a battle with the Jets on Sunday Night Football. (Next week: vs NYJ)
5. Houston Texans (6, lost 40-33): 2-1. The Texans missed on a golden opportunity in New Orleans, but sent a message to the rest of the league that they aren’t a joke this year. (Next week: vs Pittsburgh)
6. New York Jets (3, lost 34-24): 2-1. That ever so mighty Jets defense got lit up on Sunday in Oakland, giving up 171 yards to Darren McFadden. What’s up with that, Rex? (Next week: at Baltimore)
7. Detroit Lions (9, won 26-23): 3-0. Lions teams in the past would have backed down when they were down 20-0 at half, but not this team. This team is different, they are for real. Memo to Lions opponents: Good luck trying to cover Calvin Johnson every week. (Next week: at Dallas)
8. Buffalo Bills (17, won 34-31): 3-0. Don’t look now, but the Buffalo Bills have quickly become one of the most, if not the most exciting team in the NFL. For the second straight week, the Bills overcome a double-digit deficit. That’s impressive. (Next week: at Cincinnati)
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (8, won 23-20): 2-1. It wasn’t pretty, but the Steelers will take that win in Indianapolis. A win is a win. They better get ready quick, because next up they travel to Houston. (Next week: at Houston)
10. New York Giants (16, won 29-16): 2-1. That win in Philly was the Giants getting revenge for their collapse in 2010. Eli Manning was razor-sharp, and the defense made life difficult for Michael Vick. (Next week: at Arizona)
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13, won 16-13): 2-1. The Bucs followed up their comeback win in Minnesota, with a big win over the 2010 division champion Falcons. They will continue their winning ways at home against the Colts on Monday Night Football. (Next week: vs Indianapolis)
12. Philadelphia Eagles (5, lost 29-16): 1-2. Is sure looks like the Eagles were overrated heading into the season. Now, with another Michael Vick injury, they might be in major trouble. The real problem though is the defense, and their inability to stop the run. (Next week: vs San Francisco)
13. San Diego Chargers (12, won 20-17): 2-1. The Chargers just love to make games interesting. They avoided a disaster against the Chiefs on Sunday. (Next week: vs Miami)
14. Dallas Cowboys (14, won 18-16): 2-1. For the second straight week, Tony Romo dug deep, and came up huge when the Cowboys needed him. Give the man credit. (Next week: vs Detroit)
15. Chicago Bears (10, lost 27-17): 1-2. For the Bears it’s simple, really: Jay Cutler needs some help around him other than Matt Forte. He needs guys who can hold on to the ball. (Next week: vs Carolina)
16. Washington Redskins (15, lost 18-16): 2-1. There’s not a person in the world who thought Rex Grossman was going to win that game on Monday. Everyone was just waiting for him to make a mistake. (Next week: at St. Louis)
17. Atlanta Falcons (11, lost 16-13): 1-2. Something doesn’t seem to be right with the Falcons this season. They better pick it up in that tough NFC South.
18. Oakland Raiders (19, won 34-24): 2-1. The Raiders are going to be riding Darren McFadden all season long, and good luck trying to stop him. This team is for real. Watch out San Diego. (Next week: vs New England)
19. Tennessee Titans (22, won 17-14): 2-1. Like I’ve been saying, the Titans are the only team who can challenge the Texans for the AFC South. Do they have enough to do it? (Next week: at Cleveland)
20. Cleveland Browns (21, won 17-16): 2-1. Colt McCoy struggled, but stepped up big when they needed him late. Can they get to 3-1 before their bye week? (Next week: vs Tennessee)
21. San Francisco 49ers (20, won 13-8): 2-1. The 49ers should really be undefeated right now had it not been for that collapse against the Cowboys. That was a nice rebound win in Cincinnati. (Next week: at Philadelphia)
22. Arizona Cardinals (18, lost 13-10): 1-2. The Cardinals had all their chances on Sunday, but Kevin Kolb couldn’t deliver late. Can they rebound against the Giants? (Next week: vs NYG)
23. Carolina Panthers (24, won 16-10): 1-2. Wait, you’re telling me Cam Newton didn’t throw for 400 yards on Sunday and the Panthers won? Newton struggled but he doesn’t care, he’ll take his first win of his career. (Next week: at Chicago)
24. Denver Broncos (27, lost 17-14): 1-2. That loss in Tennessee did not make Kyle Orton any more popular with Broncos fans. It won’t be pretty this week in Lambeau Field. (Next week: at Green Bay)
25. Minnesota Vikings (26, lost 26-23): 0-3. In all three games this season, the Vikings have had a double-digit lead at halftime–but lost. The Donovan McNabb era may be done with Minnesota if they don’t win in Kansas City. (Next week: at Kansas City.)
26. Seattle Seahawks (31, won 13-10): 1-2. Sidney Rice played well in his first game as a Seahawk as they won their first game of the year. It’s amazing how much better they play at home. (Next week: vs Atlanta)
27. Cincinnati Bengals (23, lost 13-8): 1-2. It looks as if it’s going to be a constant struggle for the Bengals on offense this season. (vs. Bills)
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (29, lost 16-10): 1-2. In his first start, Blaine Gabbert struggled as expected, and it gets tougher this week against the Saints. Brace yourselves Jacksonville fans. (Next week: vs New Orleans)
29. Miami Dolphins (28, lost 17-16): The Dolphins take a trip to San Diego this week before their bye week, only to play the Jets on the road afterwards. Tony Sparano may not make it much longer. (Next week: at San Diego)
30. Indianapolis Colts (30, lost 23-20): 0-3. Give the Colts credit for how they played against the Steelers, but unfortunately they couldn’t pull it out. Is Andrew Luck bound to be a Colt? (Next week: at Tampa Bay)
31. St. Louis Rams (25, lost 37-7): 0-3. The Rams need to win this week over the Redskins to have some momentum heading into their bye week. Things could get ugly fast for this team. (Next week: vs Washington)
32. Kansas City Chiefs (32, lost 20-17): 0-3. That throw at the end of the game by Matt Cassel was inexcusable, and it costed them the game. Can they pick up their first win of the year at home against the Vikings? (Next week: vs Minnesota)
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.